Rome Wasn't Built in a Day Sayings

Categories: RomeSayings

The great masters of the Renaissance — da Vinci, Michelangelo, et al. — if asked by the House of Medici, the Holy Father or any other influential patron of the visual arts to put a “rush job” on their masterpieces, would’ve probably dropped their palettes, chisels and other tools of the trade and wryly replied, “Rome wasn’t built in a day. ” Ever wonder who cleverly arranged those six words into the powerhouse catchphrase that it is today?

As it turns out, nary a Roman, sandal clad or otherwise, first coined the locution.

Shockingly, it was a 12th century cleric in the court of Phillippe of Alsace — the Count of Flanders — who gets the credit for dreaming up the phrase in French: Rome ne s’est pas faite en un jour.

In 1895, Adolf Tobler, a Swiss linguist, published Li Proverbe au Vilain, a collection of Medieval French poems. Each verse is accompanied by a proverb or popular expression followed by the phrase, “Or so the peasant says.

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It is in this 12th century body of work that this expression about the Eternal City not being quickly constructed over a 24-hour period first appears. It wasn’t until 1538 that the saying ebbed into the English language when playwright-author John Heywood included it in his work A Dialogue Containing the Number in Effect of all the Proverbs in the English Tongue. Next time you hear someone say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” be quick to respond, “Or so the peasant says. ”

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Rome Wasn't Built in a Day Sayings. (2016, Nov 30). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/rome-wasnt-built-in-a-day-sayings-essay

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